The Potty Training Process

Each day new families embark on potty training adventures. Carpets are ruined. Couches are stained. Spot cleaners are purchased. Toddlers are bribed with candy, new toys, and big kid underpants displaying a favorite cartoon character. The push for a diaper-free home is underway.

There is no shortage of articles, books and advice on how to effectively potty train a child. The fact of the matter is that potty training is a process, not a weekend project. For true lasting results that do not traumatize a child, the learning process is more gradual.

A child needs to first be able to become familiar with the bathroom. He or she needs to be able to see how the potty works. Just think how frightening that big thing must be to small child, not yet acquainted with its purpose. The big noise it makes! The way it sucks everything away! It is unreasonable to expect that a child will learn to use the toilet before exploring this new area. Exploring can be opening and closing the toilet lid, flushing repeatedly or wandering in when another family member is using the bathroom. 

Once acquainted with the facilities, a child may then try occasionally to use the big potty. This is really a way of further exploration. Placing a small potty training seat in the bathroom often aids in this process. The smaller potty seat is far less intimidating for a child. Using the potty does not immediately become an all the time thing. Using a system of rewards when he or she successfully using the potty rather than dirtying another diaper can help to reinforce the child'?'s efforts. The key word here is efforts. Not every effort will be a success. A child needs to first get the right idea and be able to act on it. Whether or not the effort produces any results is not really important.

The big kid underpants are a very big deal for any toddler. The new feel of wearing them instead of a diaper takes a bit of getting used to. Accidents will be inevitable in the early days of wearing them, so planning much in the way outings is not a wise idea. Adding in short trips to the store and working your way up is most advantageous.

As with any major undertaking, there are set backs from time to time. Set backs can be triggered by a family trip away from home, or an illness. No matter the reason do not loose hope. Potty training, while wearisome, takes a short amount of time in the grander scheme of things. Another adventure in parenting to add to the book!

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